Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes to his Manchester United team against Real Sociedad on Thursday night.

It paid off handsomely as United ran out 4-0 winners and restored some of the confidence lost by a shaky league run.

Next up for United is a clash with Newcastle at Old Trafford. The Magpies are short on form and confidence themselves – and the absence of top scorer Callum Wilson doesn’t help.

Solskjaer has got four selection headaches ahead of the meeting with former teammate Steve Bruce and we’ve taken a look…

Real Sociedad v Manchester United  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
(Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Bailly or Lindelof?

Eric Bailly made his return last night, almost a month to the day since his last appearance against Fulham.

United kept a clean sheet and Bailly contributed eight clearances as well as an assist.

His pace helps Maguire out of tight spots, too. Victor Lindelof’s partnership with the captain has come under scrutiny recently and the Swede was bullied by West Brom’s Mbaye Diagne last week.

It would make sense to give the Ivorian another game, in truth.

There’s also the chance Bruce could deploy Andy Carroll after seeing what Diagne did to Lindelof in the air and United need to be prepared for that.

Manchester United v West Ham United: The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
(Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Who comes in if McTominay misses out?

Solskjaer didn’t give too much away when asked for an injury update after last night’s game.

“I don’t know how Scott (McTominay) is. I don’t know how Donny (van de Beek) and Edinson (Cavani) will be either,” he said.

“They’ve got a chance, I think, so we’ve just got to give them until before training on Saturday as we need to pick a team on Saturday. We’ll see how they are and hopefully they can both be available.”


If McTominay misses out, it seems like a straight choice between van de Beek and Nemanja Matic to partner Fred in midfield.

Van de Beek would be the more attacking choice, but of course his own fitness is in doubt after missing the Sociedad clash.

Matic and Fred together at home against a struggling side who will sit deep feels like it could create a stodgy performance – but Solskjaer might not have any other choice if fitness dictates.

Real Sociedad v Manchester United  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
(Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Who should play up front?

Mason Greenwood led the line for United in Italy, rotating with Marcus Rashford at times and it worked well.

It’ll be a different challenge against Newcastle and Solskjaer may feel he needs to bring Cavani back into the side – with Rashford and Greenwood either side of him.

But if the Uruguayan isn’t fit, it’s worth giving Greenwood another chance through the middle – especially given Anthony Martial’s recent poor form.

Real Sociedad v Manchester United  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
(Chris Ricco/Getty Images)

Keep James in the side?

Tied into the debate over who leads the line is whether Dan James’s strong midweek display was enough to warrant another start on Sunday.

A frontline of James, Rashford and Greenwood would contain plenty of pace to trouble Newcastle’s backline.

Even if Cavani is back, Solskjaer could use James on the left to give Rashford a much-needed rest. He’s played in every single game this season.

James will hope to play in the return against Sociedad and giving him three straight starts should boost his form and fitness.

The Welshman has four goals in his last seven appearances and Solskjaer could acknowledge that decent form by keeping the winger in the side this weekend.

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